Remarks by Habiba Sarabi, member of the Negotiation Team of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at first side event of Afghanistan 2020 Conference in Geneva - Segment A Panel Discussion: Safeguarding and strengthening human rights and women’s participatio

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Your excellency the first lady, Excellencey the co-chair  Minister Atmar, Minister Stanikzai, Minister Naderi, and honorable panelists, ladies and gentlemen! Asalamualikom

It’s my pleasure to be here and talk about the inclusiveness in the peace negotiation process.

Studies have shown that the degree of inclusivity in peace processes is directly co-rrelated with sustainability of the process.

For instance, we have evidence that the inclusion of women in negotiations processes is associated with more sustainable outcomes of political settlements. So, the importance of inclusivity in the process cannot be overstated.

In the Republic Negotiating Team, we hold ourselves responsible and accountable to the whole of our society at the same time using violence as their leverage . If every one cannot participate in negotiations in the room, it doesn’t mean their absence and doesn’t mean exclusion from the process.

 It is for this reason, that the members of the negotiating team regularly engage with people from all walks of life specially victims of war and minorities from across the country. We hear their views, expectations, demands, concerns and fears.

 

On our end, we answer their questions, report on our activities and explain the mechanics of the process. In this regard, we have to commend the role of our Ministry of Peace.

It is the colleagues of the Ministry that makes it possible for us to virtually connect with a large and diverse group of our fellow Afghans from all across the country.

Additionally, we regularly consult with our international partners and members of the support group. Our international partners provide us with technical support to help the ongoing negotiations process.

An important aspect of our engagement with the international partners is working on the question of inclusivity.

In the Republic negotiating team, we have shunned the idea that the only role for women in the peace process is to address women rights issues.

Women in Afghanistan make up half of the population. We have every right to participate in decision making on all topics.

Within the team, women members have been assigned to different working committees. All these committees are responsible for working on topics that are of national relevance.

As such, not only do we strongly defend women rights alongside our male colleagues but we actively make our voices heard in discussions that are meant to carve out the fate and future of a peaceful, independent and prosperous Afghanistan.

We are grateful to our international partners for their steadfast support to Afghanistan over the last two decades.

Continued support of the IC is not only crucial for the on-going negotiations process but also in the years ahead; if and when the process leads to a peace agreement.

 A peace agreement will only be the beginning of another long and complex process of peacebuilding. In that, Afghanistan counts on the support of its international partners.

We ask you to echo our calls for a ceasefire and do everything you can to make this a reality for the Afghan people.

We ask for your support in implementing our peace strategy and realizing our ideas and aspirations for inclusivity.

We ask for your right messages within the process at the right time.

Finally, we ask for your support in helping us protect and preserve those universally accepted values that we all believe in.

 

Thank you